Drug-Related Offences Increase For January To April

The Fiji Police Force has recorded 384 illicit drug related offences between January and April with 254 individuals apprehended aged between 18-35 years.
05 Jun 2023 11:44
Drug-Related Offences Increase For January To April
More than 2000 plants believed to be marijuana were seized by Fiji Police Force. Photos: Fiji Police Force

The Fiji Police Force has recorded 384 illicit drug related offences between January and April with 254 individuals apprehended aged between 18-35 years.

Its latest statistics saw an increase in the offences by 20 per cent compared to the same period last year with 319 cases.

Divisional arrests

The Southern Division saw a decrease in cases from 88 in 2022 to 60 in 2023, while the Western Division increased from 80 cases in 2022 to 122 cases so far this year.

The Eastern Division had a slight decrease from 42 in 2022 to 40 in 2023, while the Northern Division rose from 85 in 2022 to 144 cases in 2023, indicating a significant increase in drug-related offences in that region.

The Central Division witnessed a decline in cases from 24 in 2022 to 18 in 2023.

Offence type

These statistics showed drug-related offences such as controlled chemicals and equipment, unlawful cultivation of illicit drugs, unlawful possession of illicit drugs, unlawful use of illicit drugs, and unlawful importation and exportation.

The highest was unlawful possession of illicit drugs with 341 cases this year compared to 284 cases in 2022.

Type of drugs

The offences were also categorised based on the type of drug involved.

Marijuana was the most prevalent drug with 310 cases in 2022 and 361 cases in 2023.

Police said marijuana continued to be the primary illicit drug encountered in these cases suggesting its widespread availability and usage.

Methamphetamine was the second most common drug with five cases in 2022 and 22 cases in 2023, which was a significant increase.

Cocaine related cases reported to the Police were four for 2022 and one in 2023.

Offenders by gender

During the period of January to April 2022, 319 persons were arrested for drug-related offences indicating that the majority of the arrests were male offenders with 311 individuals apprehended.

Eight female offenders were arrested during this period.

For the same period in 2023, there was a slight increase in the total number of arrests with 380 persons apprehended.

Police said majority were male offenders with 367 individuals apprehended while 13 females were arrested.

Offenders by age

Age 18 to 35 years continued to top the list for drug-related offences.

The number of drug offenders increased to 380 with an increase in the number of juvenile offenders to 12 compared to five in 2022, indicating a rise in drug-related offences among the younger population.

The age group 18 to 35 years had the highest number of offenders topping the list with 254 individuals this year compared to 199 individuals in 2022.

The number of offenders from 36 to 55 years, decreased to 102 this year compared to 111 in 2022, while the number of offenders aged 56 years and older increased to 12 this year compared to four last year.

 Story By:  Ashna Kumar


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